Captive Birth

What does it mean?

These are animals that joined our zoo because they were born in captivity and would not be able to thrive in the wild.

Captive Birth


There are many reasons why animals at a zoo many be born in captivity. The most common reason is that the animal species is considered Endangered or Threatened and it is important to preserve the species. One of the ways to get an animal off the endangered list is to increase the reproductive rate of the animal. However, unless rigid guidelines are followed (such as with our Red Wolf Pack), the animal may not be suitable to be released into the wild. Those animals are then used to education guests on the importance of the species and ways they can help protect it from becoming extinct.

Oftentimes red wolves are confused for coyotes as they look highly similar. Their fur can vary in coloration but they often have a reddish coat with a black-tipped tail and lighter coloration around their muzzle/mouth. They are much smaller than their grey wolf relatives and are not as aggressive.

Pallas cats, also known as the manul, their flat forehead and low ears allow them to peek over bushes and rocks without exposing themselves to their prey. Instead of closing to a slit like other small cats, Pallas cat pupils close to form a small circle. A thick coat of shaggy fur and a long, bushy tail help combat extreme temperatures that reach lows nearing -60ºF.

The American Guinea Hog has a thin and wiry black coat, which makes them sensitive to sun. One of he reasons they roll in the mud is to protect their skin form the sun and bugs. They also have large, upright ears that are especially hairy to keep dirt and bugs out of them when they root (using their snout to dig in the ground for tasty treats). They have an especially flexible snout, which is helpful when foraging for food. American Guinea hogs are also known as wild boars.

They have soft, dense fur covering their body to keep them warm in their high altitude environment, including a bushy tail that helps with balance and acts as a blanket. They are approximately the size of a housecat and resemble a raccoon more than a giant panda.

Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest of the 13 otter species. They have a sleek, thin body with dark brown fur on the top of their body and a lighter tan on their underside. They have small, partially webbed claws on their front paws, which give them their name. These claws are used for tasks such as grooming and manipulating food. They have excellent vision both underwater and on land.

Indian crested porcupines are one of the world's largest rodents. Being a rodent, their teeth never stop growing, so they oftentimes are chewing on wood or hard vegetables to keep their teeth from being overgrown. Their bodies are covered in dark brown quills, modified hairs with barbs at the ends, which makes them sharp and an excellent defense against predators. The Indian Crested Porcupine gets its name from long quills around their head and neck that stand up when they are frightened.

Eurasian Lynx are medium size cats that come in variety of colors and patterns. The three main coat patterns are mostly spotted, mostly striped, and unpatterned. Coat color can vary with the season and locality. They have long legs and large, snowshoe-like paws. Both their short tail and ear tufts are tipped with black fur. They are the largest of the four species of lynx species.

Red foxes have a distinctive reddish-brown fur, although the exact coloration can vary. They often have a white underbelly, throat, and chin. Some individuals have dark or silver fur. One of their most notable features is their bushy, white-tipped tail. The tail is often long and serves multiple purposes, including balance, communication, and warmth.

They are a medium-sized perching duck. The males are more elaborate with multicolored iridescent plumage and red eyes, with a distinctive white flare down the neck. Females are less colorful with a white eye-ring and a whitish throat.  Both adults have crested heads.

Bright red bills, a blue body, heads are black with a speckled crown and orange skin surrounding the eyes. The bright blue tails are one of the longest in the corvid (crow) family and have a diamond shape when extended in flight.

Small, short-tailed starlings with a long and narrow beak, round bodies, and a distinctive feather pattern.  Adults have black heads and iridescent blue-to-green back, chest, wings, and tail. The belly is red orange, separated from the blue chest by a white bar. The under-tail feathers and the wing linings are white.  

They are small birds with relatively large heads. They have downward curved beaks with short legs. This bird has a cream-colored head and chest, with pale-blue bellies and dark green wings. Their tail has 2 streamers that follow behind the rollers in flight.

They have a green body and yellowish bill and iris. Males have a pale grey head with black nape (at the back of the head), yellow throat, and golden yellow and pink under-tail feathers.  The female and the young have entirely green plumage.  

Their feathers offer excellent camouflage so they are hard to spot. They are intricately patterned in brown, tan, rust, and black. Males have a black-and-white head pattern. Females have a tan throat and eyebrows.

Cattle Egrets are different from other species of egrets in that they have much shorter and thicker necks. This stocky white heron has yellow feathers on its head and neck during breeding season.

Black bears, despite their name, can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon, blonde, or even (very rarely) white. They have dense, shaggy fur that helps protect them from cold winters. Black bears use their strong, curved claws to climb trees and dig for food. They are a smaller bear species compared to grizzly and brown bears.

Snow leopards are known for their thick fur, which is pale gray or cream-colored, often with rosettes and spots on their coats that act as camouflage in their snowy habitat. These spots provide excellent concealment in their environment. Their long tails are used for balance, but also warmth. Their paws are large to act as snow shoes as they traverse across snowy mountaintops.

Military macaws are mostly green with a red forehead and upper tail feathers, they have bare white faces with small rows of black and red feathers. The white of their faces reacts much like a humans in that when they are excited or upset, they will flush and it will turn a pinkish color. Their tail feathers are blue with bluish-red shorter feathers on top. Their eyes are yellow, the beak is a dark grey, and legs are a lighter grey. They are highly intelligent and are often called flying primates, they have the intelligence of almost a 5 year old human!

The Vietnamese Pot-belled Pig is plain black in nature, but through breeding in the pet trade, they can have a variation in color. They have large bellies and short legs that give them the characteristic round "pot-bellied" appearance. They are often smaller than most farm pigs, making them a great choice for people with less land.

Depending on where these dart frogs live, the color of them can vary. The most common natural colorations are the metallic golden color, their namesake, and a minty green. Some of the frogs also have small, black marks on their noses and toes, but this isn't always the case! . When they are little, they are fully black except a small pair of golden stripes down the back and belly of the frogs, as they mature, their stripes spread over their body and they take on their full coloration. They have 4 unwebbed toes on each foot (they don't swim like other frogs!) and a bony, teeth-like plate in their upper jaw (unlike most other dart frogs).

Barn owls have a heart-shaped face that is light in color, their body is generally a mixture of pale, tawny, and dark brown feathers. They often have spots and speckles on their wings and back, contributing to their mottled appearance, providing excellent camouflage in their natural habitats. Their ears are asymmetrical, meaning one is above the other on either side of the head, which helps them pinpoint exactly where a noise comes from.  They're hearing is so precise they can even hunt in total darkness.

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